Organisation: tips from work to use with the family
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Some good organisational reflexes for work can be applied at home in a flash. We asked 5 professional mums to tell us about the best ones.
Some good organisational reflexes for work can be applied at home pronto! We asked 5 super-efficient mums about the good practices from their work that they also use when they get home.
Sophie (HR Manager): When I meet with employees, they have my full attention because the moment is an important one for them, their career and their family life. I try to apply the same rule to myself at home: when a child wants to talk to me about a subject that is important to him, I interrupt what I am doing, I don’t look at my phone, I switch off the saucepan… I offer him all my attention. And if the timing is bad, I make a bedtime appointment to talk about it, even if it means delegating the other children’s bedtimes to my husband.
Anna-Pierre (Artistic Director): In order to keep my thoughts straight, I need a small break between two projects during my day: I open the window, I stretch and I take 5 minutes to empty my mind. Before going home, I do the same: I turn off the radio in my car, I stretch and I try to set myself to available mode by doing nothing for a few minutes. It’s a little weird to be all alone in my car like that, but it makes it easier for me to switch off from work.
Clarisse (surgeon): During a surgical intervention, I am concentrated on what I am doing in the moment. I give instructions very calmly and simply, without explanation, just precise and direct. “The clamp” or “What is the heartbeat?” or “Thread”… Everyone knows what they have to do and understands the importance of the moment. When there is an emergency at home with the children, I put Dr Spock back on the shelf and I return to direct instructions without losing my temper! It’s quite useful for hurrying home from the park with 5 children when it rains, or when my youngest split open his forehead at his birthday party.
Sandy (lawyer): When we work on complex cases at the office, we hold meetings during which each person presents the results of their research and thoughts on how to organise strategy. In the end, the senior associate is the one who decides, but each person has expressed themselves and can bring new ideas. Now I ask the same thing of my children for family outings or activities. They join in the game, and we have well-argued debates around the table: for, against, price… They become involved in their own leisure activities.
Béatrice (head of a catering team): Before and after each service, we systematically hold an organisational briefing and debriefing. Before, we clearly explain the day’s new menu items, we repeat the instructions and make sure that they are understood. After, we go over the service: we congratulate or re-direct immediately. That way, we take on the next service serenely, with no background thoughts. I try to do the same with my au pair: it is discipline, but I do not let unspoken things build up and she always knows what to expect. Everything is clear between us.
Well, that’s quite a programme….I am taking note of the au pair briefing, because I often skip the morning briefing and in the evening, I somehow get annoyed that she hasn’t done what I didn’t ask her to do!